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Thursday, October 5, 2023

A demonstration on the border of terrorism. Is he fighting for Brazilian democracy?

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Two months after the presidential election, Brazil experienced “January Eight”, modeled after the attack on the US Congress two years ago. Supporters of former right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro attacked Brazil’s three biggest institutions on Sunday. How did the local security forces deal with the violence of the demonstrators? And is Brazilian democracy in danger?

What will you hear at 5:59 in today’s episode?

  • Who are among the supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro, who are called Bolsonaros?
  • What role did the invasion of the US Congress by Trump supporters play in the attack on Brazilian officials in 2021?
  • And is Brazilian democracy in danger?

Supporters of President Lula da Silva took to the streets on Monday to support the new president, following protests by the so-called Bolsonaros. Nearly 4,000 supporters of his rival and former president, Jair Bolsonaro, protested the election results Sunday, and some attacked key Brazilian officials.

Radical Bolsonaro voters have carried out multiple targeted attacks since October, when the former president lost the election. For example, they targeted the headquarters of the federal police or tried to close the airport. Parliament, the court and the presidential palace were the next targets.

“Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of buses from all over the country began to follow them to the capital. They have been preparing for a very long time to attack the most important institutions of the Brazilian state,” said an anthropologist, Latin America expert and collaborator of the Center for Ibero-American Studies at Charles University, describing the beginning of the protests. Francis Kalenda.

Although many of the so-called Bolsonaros who participated in the protests were arrested, the unrest is still not over. “There are attempts to close refineries across the country. (…) You could say that Bolsonaro’s supporters regrouped and tried something different,” Kalenda explains.

At the forefront of the protests

It is not clear who is running the so-called Bolsonaros. But conservative evangelical priests or small and medium-sized businessmen are often among the former president’s radical supporters, according to Kalenda. These people are middle class, they tend to be very active on social media and are afraid of Lula da Silva’s leftist politics.

“Among other things, there are ex-members of power structures, for example, retired generals or colonels, ex-military police, ex-guards from various federal units were spotted at the demonstrations,” the expert said.

Photograph: Private archive of František Kalenda

Publisher František Kalenda.

Bolsonaro distanced himself from the protests, but did not openly condemn them. Moreover, after the October elections, when he did not admit defeat, he cast doubts on their regularity. And in December, before Lula da Silva took office, he went on vacation to Florida to avoid conventional behavior and not have to give him the presidential sash.

At least it’s a symbol for the protesters. Besides, some of those who participated in the attack are his relatives,” says Kalenda.

According to the expert, the situation in Brazil will only calm down when the security forces manage to “disperse at least the most violent and radical groups”. “The Bolsonaros still don’t want to admit that they lost the election. Once they realize that, there will be a gradual decline.”

On the 5:59 podcast you will also learn why the police acted passively during protests, or the role social networks have played and are playing in demonstrations. Listen to the audio at the beginning of the article.

Editor and Associate Editor: Barbora Sochorová, Dominika Kubištova

Sound design and music: Martin Still

Sources of sound samples: CRo Radio Magazine, TV Nova, CNN Prima News, BBC News YouTube Channel, SBT News YouTube Channel, WION YouTube Channel, @rishhikesh Twitter Account, @Metropoles Twitter Account, @L_ThinkTank Twitter Account, @davidrkadler Twitter Account

Broadcast 5:59

News podcast of Lenka Kabrhelova’s team. A key topic every weekday in the sixth minute. Through the lens of Seznam Zpráv, the most important events in the Czech Republic, in the world, in politics, economy, sports and culture.

You can find an archive of all episodes on our website. Write us your observations, comments or tips via social networks or by e-mail: zaminutusest@sz.cz.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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